CONCERT REVIEW // MIGHTY OAKS // LES DOCKS, LAUSANNE, 4.12.2017 – ONE SHOT IS ALL I’VE GOT, IT’S TAKING ME FAR AWAY FROM THE PLACE THAT I LOVE

Mighty Oaks are back to Les Docks for their “Higher Place” tour and to present the new album Dreamers and their new EP Storm.

8pm-8.30pm Giant Rooks

© Thomas Ebert

Giant Rooks, an indie-pop band from Cologne, Germany, brings to Les Docks a blend of pop and indie-folk sounds. The band released their debut EP New Estate in January 2017. Incredibly talented and engaging, the five young lads send great vibes to the audience through their music.

They create a great atmosphere showing their multi instrumentality and taking the audience in a nice voyage, making them dance and clap along.

9pm-10.30pm Mighty Oaks

© Davide Gostoli

Mighty Oaks are three guys from three different countries coming together and creating beautiful harmonies. Singer Ian Hooper (US), bassist Craig Saunders (UK) and guitarist/pianist Claudio Donzelli (Italy) have been playing together for quite a while now. Their indie-folk is characterized by three-part-harmonies as well as multiple instruments such as ukulele and the piano. The band is still based in Berlin, although their latest album Dreamers (2017) was recorded in the US. On tour they are accompanied by two additional members.

Mighty Oaks’ songs acquire a further and deeper meaning once you hear them live as singer Ian Hooper likes telling the stories behind some of the songs during shows. Like Howl (2014), both the album Dreamers and the EP Storm (2017) carry a deep meaning which becomes clearer at every listen.

The gig opens with “Storm”, title-track of the EP which was released in November 2017. It’s a soft and rather sad song, the melancholic touch of the violin heightens this feeling.

After a few songs, Ian Hooper cheers the audience reminding the unforgettable concert they played at Les Docks in 2015, it was a Friday and it was more packed than this Monday evening but he thanks everyone for coming out nonetheless and says he had been told “you should never play in Switzerland on a Monday”. Oh, well I guess it’s a sort of challenge.

To introduce “Seven Days” he invites the audience to sing along even if they don’t know the words and jokes about the fact of recognizing when people get the lyrics wrong, especially the sound technicians in the back. The audience laughs and so do they. Throughout the gig they do a jump back to their first highly acclaimed album Howl (2014) from which the single “Brother” couldn’t be missing, with the audience singing along to it, maybe a bit more self consciously than before.

© Thomas Ebert

The singer, remained alone on stage with the violinist, introduces the song “The Dark”, taken from the EP Storm, by saying that it’s about Alzheimer’s disease as both Ian’s grandpa and Craig’s dad died from that. Ian tells the public an anecdote his grandma told him after the death of his grandpa and to make her feel better he decided to write this song as if it were his grandpa talking to her. The song is very touching and suddenly the lyrics seem clearer and take on a new meaning.

They continue with “Be With You Always” another new song taken from the album Dreamers. It’s a touching lively song, great to sing along to and clap along to, as the audience does. Mighty Oaks do some cool instrumental jamming here and there towards the end of some of the songs to then end abruptly but beautifully.

For the encore they come out to play “One Shot”, a brand new song taken from their EP Storm. Singer Ian Hooper announces that they will play unplugged except for a microphone, without which nothing could be heard. As soon as they start singing the audience remains speechless at the hearing of the stunning harmonies they create with their voices intertwined and the acoustic guitar, with the violin coming in slowly as well. A performance which gives you the chills.

Another amazing Mighty Oaks’ gig, who despite getting more and more well known remain genuine and very down-to-earth, which is one of the most admirable qualities they have aside their obvious talent. And since there is no 2 without 3 I’m sure they will be back at Les Docks.

Setlist:

Storm
All I Need
Raise a Glass
Seven Days
Just One Day
Burn
You Saved My Soul
Brother
The Great Unknown
The Dark
Be With You Always
Never Look Back
Horse
When I Dream I See
One Shot (encore)
Driftwood Seat (encore)

Simona @TakeMe2aConcert

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